The Federal Government has issued a travel ban against 13 countries to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 disclosed during a press briefing in Abuja.
Announcing the ban on entry to journalists in his office on Wednesday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, also said those who arrived into the country in the last 15 days from the 13 countries, would be subjected to supervised 14 days self-isolation.
Mustapha, who was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehinare, explained that the ban on the 13 countries became necessary because of their high-risk status in terms of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He said the ban on the 13 countries would take effect from Saturday, March 21, 2020, adding that the Visa-on-Arrival policy had been temporarily suspended.
He also advised all Nigerians with foreign travel plans to the banned countries to either cancel or suspend such plans.
“This morning, we have found it necessary to brief Nigerians on further measures being taken after an assessment of the global situation. They are as follows:
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is restricting entry into the country for travellers from the following thirteen (13) countries; China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland. These are all countries with over 1,000 case domestically;
“All persons arriving in Nigeria who might have visited these countries, fifteen days prior to such arrival, will be subjected to supervised self-isolation and testing for 14 days;
“The Federal Government is temporarily suspending the issuance of all visas on arrival. The Federal Government is also counselling all Nigerians to cancel or postpone all non-essential travels to these countries; and
“The Federal Government urges Public Health Authorities of countries with a high burden to conduct diligent departure screening of passengers and also endorses these travel advisories to their nationals to postpone travels to Nigeria.
“These restrictions will come into effect from Saturday, 21st March 2020 for four (4) weeks subject to review”, he said.